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Sewage Task Force Updates Progress After 6 Months

Julio Ochoa/WUSF
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage spilled onto Pinellas County streets and into waterways after last year's tropical storms. A task force set up to address the issue provided an update on their progress on Thursday in Seminole.

The task force is made up of the leaders of city and county wastewater and stormwater utilities. It came up with a plan in January and each municipality has spent the past six months carrying it out.

Irvin Kety is the environmental services director for Largo. He says the municipalities all face similar problems with stormwater entering their sewer systems.

“We all have those same issues, so there’s some benefit to be able to work together and collaborate,” Kety said.  

He says the wastewater systems are in a better position to deal with heavy rains today. Most of the short-term fixes are in place, he said, but larger projects will take several years to complete.

Julio Ochoa is editor of Health News Florida.